Tag Archives: DIY

An Unconventional Japanese Beach Wedding: Chaco & John

I love Japan. It’s one of my favourite places in the world (we had out honeymoon in Tokyo) and I hope to go back again someday. So when I spied Chaco & John’s wedding at Riviera Zushi Marina in Kamakura and reception at Zushi Beach, I emailed their photographer Chennergy immediately and asked to feature it.

John proposed at the worlds busiest road crossing, right in the middle of Shibuya, Tokyo. Check out the video here – it’s the cutest!

“My inspiration for our wedding theme was my Dad loving Rock n Roll and since both our names are John, or Johnny I thought it would be appropriate to rock to Johnny B Goode,” John explained. “I also am a big fan of the youtube video JK wedding, and the scene in Back to the Future where Michael J Fox rocks out to Johnny B Goode at the prom scene. We also had an 80’s feel, since we both love the 80’s. The 80’s sunglasses and recession song being “Nothing’s Gonna Stop us now” by Starship.”

The shack where their reception was held is only constructed for the summer months, so just like the proposal I guess, the couple had to coordinate and plan the wedding a long time in advance “We booked the venue a year in advance,” John continued. “The floor was sand and was just a great feeling to have a party there.”

“Instead of having a traditional reception, which is a bit costly and boring, we went straight to the after party at the beach. We changed our outfits to a Hawaiian theme. I wore an all white Hawaiian wedding aloha shirt, with a fresh Maile lei brought over by my older brother who lives in Hawaii. I also bought Hawaiian accessories (shark bone necklace) online. Chaco wore a white BCBG lace and a simple leaf and white plumeria flower head lei.”

“Our decorator sewed the table cloths and decorated the tables with herbs and wild flowers, she learned how to create a table setting just for us, because she teaches children for a living and was just a friend who had never done anything like this before. All of our friends pitched in with their skills and talents to make the wedding a reality! We had blues, aquas and yellow wild flowers. Yellow for full of life and blues for tranquil and peaceful ocean. The sea was a big part of our theme since we had our wedding in a glass chapel on the sea, with blue carpet isle lined with seashells.”

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A 1950’s Rock n Roll Wedding: Laura & Neil

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Laura & Neil 1950’s Rock n Roll wedding was inspired by the thing that brought them together – music. They explain, “Music was the thing that brought us together – Neil’s Dad played the Cavern in the early 60’s – and we’ve both always had an interest in classic Rock n Roll.”

“We definitely enjoyed searching – Laura liked sourcing her own dress on the internet and having the bespoke accessories made to personalise the look. We didn’t want to look like anyone else and we didn’t want the wedding to be traditional. We choose Sassy of  Assassynation as our photographer because of her unusual and unique style.”

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“Guests were greeted with vintage gramophones, radios, antique tins and Rock n Roll and motown music,” they continued. “We placed framed pictures of classic films and 50’s movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe all around the venue and we decorated the outside area with vintage bunting. Laura walked down the aisle to Brian Fallon’s (The Gaslight Anthem) version of the Johnny Cash classic ‘I Walk The Line’. Guests found out the seating arrangements from a poster Neil created in the style of a 1950’s Rock n Roll bill and our tables were all named after classic hits such as ‘At Last’, ‘Be Bop A Lula’ etc.”

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“Our centrepieces were stacks of classic 50’s and 60’s crime fiction novels with vases of fresh red roses and every guest had a little record sleeve with our faces on it that Neil had created with a cookie inside, wrapped to look like a record.”

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“The Black Cat Trio were a really cool band and Neil lost over a stone dancing to them!” the bride concluded. “Sassy made us both feel really comfortable and had some amazing ideas that we would never have thought of. But Neil would have liked her to have air con in her car! We had the best day of our lives with all of our friends and family and we were so pleased that we did it our way. With the photos, it will be a day we can look back on for the rest of our lives.”

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Back to School – A Madmen & Book Themed Wedding: April & Zdenko

As a high school teacher, getting married at the school she taught at seemed like the perfect idea to April. The venue also gave them a really great starting block for a totally unique and awesome wedding – Back to School! “I’d say our wedding was a mix of Madmen style with a book theme,” April explained. “I am a high school English teacher and my husband is a graduate student at University of Chicago with plans to be a professor. A book theme just seemed natural. I immediately knew I wanted books as our centerpieces and since our names are April and Zdenko, A to Z bookends were perfect. Then I thought of personalized pencils and it all started to come together.”

“I am super crafty and we were on a tight budget, so our choice to do most things DIY was more out of necessity than anything else, but it created the look I wanted anyway. I didn’t necessarily try to go out of my way to be different, I just was trying to capture our personalities.”

“Our ceremony and reception venue was the high school that I teach at on the Westside of Chicago in the recently redeveloped Homan Square area of North Lawndale,” the bride continued. “The school is a charter school run by Henry Ford Learning Instituted aptly named Power House High due to the fact that it was the former power house for the original Sears Tower and factory plant. The building was renovated into a school 3 years ago and many of the original machinery was left to create a museum-like atmosphere. We were the first couple to rent out the space for a wedding, but they certainly hope to continue renting it out for this purpose. If interested, contact Kevin Sutton at ksutton@homansquare.org.”

As mentioned before, the majority of this wedding was DIYed by the couple and their friends. “We depended on may people for their creativity. We have two friends that brew beer and they made three different homebrews for our wedding. My best friend’s husband made these awesome invitations for us with an A to Z bookend graphic he designed. My cousin and her husband used that graphic to make personalized screen printed T-shirts for our wedding party.”

“My Mom made my favorite cookies and Zdenko’s mom made a variety of Bosnian cookies. Our friend Alexis and his brother Teddy run a food truck here in Chicago and they ended up catering our rehearsal dinner in their soon-to-open restaurant. My sister-in-law and Mother-in-law made the bell favors. My best friend made the flowers, the moustaches for pictures, and many other things. My neighbors made the beautiful arch with an awesome floral arrangement for the ceremony. My friend Kay made the A to Z bookends for the centerpieces. Everyone was just so awesome and constantly asked to help out in more ways than I even could imagine!”

Almost makes me want to go back to school…well maybe only if it was as cool as this one!

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A Fuss-Free Sydney Elopement: Heather & Yeo

Oh I do love to feature the odd fuss-free elopement on Rock n Roll Bride. Planning a wedding can be so damn stressful that it’s just so nice to see people who say ‘screw that!’ and go and do their own thing.

Heather & Yeo met on Facebook while they were both living 100 miles apart in the UK. After finally meeting in ‘real life’, and then after just a couple of months, Yeo told Heather he’d been offered a job in Sydney and asked would she go with him. She didn’t think twice and bought a one-way ticket right away!

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After just 5 months of planning the couple were wed at the New South Wales Registry Office, Sydney. “The aim was to have a simple and easy wedding,” Heather told me. “It was a great day and I don’t think I would of changed anything about it. Our ceremony was to start at 11:30am and it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day – just what I wanted! We had invited witnesses only as both sides of our immediate family couldn’t attend. So in the end we had 3 other adults, three kids and the photographers in the room. The actual ceremony went very fast and I had the giggles when it came to saying my vows – I think it must of been the only nervous bit throughout the whole day.”

After the ceremony, the couple and their photographer Rachael Muller went off for a portrait session at some of their favourite locations around the city. “At one point someone drove past playing Glee’s version of Bruno Mars – ‘Marry You’,” Heather continued. “Now, every time I hear that now makes me think of the day. Another memorable moment would be going catching the train from Central and walking up Market Street all dressed up. We kept getting glances from everyone and getting well wishes from total strangers on their lunch break.”

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A Lithuanian Theme Park Wedding: Alma & Aleksandras

I don’t think I’ve ever featured a wedding from Lithuania on the blog before, but I’m pleased to say that’s all about to change…and if there are more Lithuanian weddings as awesome as this one I want to share them as well please!

Alma & Aleksandras’ wedding was sent to me by their planner Laura Vagonė. “I met these two six months ago, both of them are photographers so wanted to have wedding in some special and at an interesting place. I‘ve offered them an old carousel park and they loved the idea.”

“The ceremony was held at 8am and officiated by the the father of the groom. We had amazing party and the guests were invited to try carousel. They were happy as kids, trust me. We also had a live band playing the whole time. Everything was so great that I‘d like to share that colourful joy with you!”

Well I’m very pleased you did Laura!

The wedding had a blue colour scheme which was reflected in both the bride and groom’s outfits. Alma wore a second hand dress which she found on eBay with cute flats and a headpiece, both by Agne Giedriene (she also changed into Nike trainers later in the day) and the most amazing twitter-inspired tights by Tattoo Socks on Etsy. Aleksandras wore a second hand suit with a blue bow tie he was given one Christmas.

Their were also handmade touches throughout the wedding including the cake, the ceremony décor and the flowers, which were all put together by the groom’s Mother.

The wedding day finished with a boat ride and the couple jumping into a nearby lake! Rock n Rooooll!

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A Californian Bohemian Bridal Shoot

This beautiful bohemian bridal shoot was sent over to me by Paris based photographer Juliane Berry. “I’ve been living in Paris for a while now and mostly shooting in the city,” she told me. “Wanting to tap into my earthy California roots, I set up this bohemian bridal inspiration shoot while I was in California in June.”

The shoot took place at William Marie Vineyard and they used props such as porcupine quills, owl feathers, peacock feathers, vintage goblets, hippie tapestry and a VW Beetle to create he scene. The model, Kelly of KM Photography wore a vintage dress accessorised with feathers and quills in her hair, a Native American buffalo tooth necklace and a wooden beaded hemp bracelet.

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